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Wes Anderson remembers working with James Caan on Bottle Rocket

Wes Anderson kicked off his career with what would develop into a signature style, but it took James Caan some getting used to.

We all know Wes Anderson has his repertoire of actors: Bill Murray, Jason Schwartzman, Owen Wilson, and on and on and on. And over the course of his career, they have all grown accustomed to – and perfectly fit – his signature style. But that’s really hard to do early on, when none of this has been established and you’re just trying to get that first film completed. Now imagine doing it while a sometimes short-tempered Oscar nominee watches it all unfold.

Wes Anderson recalled that when making his first movie, James Caan didn’t understand just what this rinky-dink, $5 million production was even going for (then again, neither did those at the first screening). “I remember James Caan came to the set of Bottle Rocket, and he was really saying, ‘What are you guys doing?’ We were doing things that he thought, ‘This is not how movies are made,’ but he sort of adapted to us.”

Wes Anderson has built on his visual style in a way that has made him singular in the movie industry and, now more than a quarter-century into his career, built a stock that knows the ins and outs of what working with him means. “And so having people who we formed our way of working together, that means things happen quickly, and we inspire each other maybe more easily and readily. We’ve already kind of smoothed the road a bit.” Even still, he recognizes that any newbies might be just as jarred as James Caan was on Bottle Rocket. “People who are newcomers on the set or [to] the process of making one of my movies find it strange. It’s not necessarily the way movies are normally made. Probably every director is like that. We have our own strange methods, which began in some ways with the first film I made.”

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Wes Anderson will bring both veterans and newcomers to his next picture, The Phoenician Scheme, which is set to star the likes of Murray, Tom Hanks, Benicio del Toro, Michael Cera, Benedict Cumberbatch, Scarlett Johansson, Willem Dafoe, Bryan Cranston, and many, many more. Plot details are slim at this point but production reportedly wrapped earlier this month.

What is your favorite Wes Anderson film? Which one does his style most come through? Drop your pick below!

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